fondue pot with bread

National Cheese Fondue Day Fun Facts

This April 11th celebrate National Cheese Fondue Day by exploring some history and fun traditions behind fondue de fromage and learning everything you need to know to host your own fondue party!

What Is Cheese Fondue?

Popular during the winter months, cheese fondue is a traditional Swiss melted cheese dip served in a heated fondue pot (or caquelon). One pot serves multiple people, who gather around it to dip cubes of white bread into the hot cheese with their long fondue forks. With ingredients that include Swiss cheeses and wine, cheese fondue is known for its rich flavor and creamy texture and can be enjoyed as an appetizer or a main course.

A Brief History of Cheese Fondue

Throughout time people have loved cheese, especially luscious, melted cheese. The origins of cheese fondue can be traced back to a 1699 Swiss cookbook that contained a recipe called Kass mit Wein zu kochen—meaning "to cook cheese with wine." This recipe mixed wine with grated cheese to make a dip that could be used with bread.

The name “cheese fondue” (or fondue de fromage) appeared later in a 1773 French cookbook with the recipe Fondue de Fromage, aux Truffes Fraiches, a recipe for cheese souffle with truffles. Not until 1875 was a recipe published for the melted cheese dip itself, though by then cheese fondue had become a popular Swiss dish. Fondue reached America in 1964 by way of the World’s Fair in New York where it was first served at the Swiss Pavilion.

fondue on table with people

Fun Fondue Facts

To become a true fondue aficionado, there are some fun facts you should know:

  • Fondue is the French word for “melted.” 
  • Swiss tradition calls for drinking only white wine, kirsch, or herbal tea with fondue.
  • Fondue forks are usually different colors so everyone can keep track of their fork.
  • No double dipping is allowed!
  • Garlic flavor is added by rubbing a garlic clove along the inside of the fondue pot.
  • It’s considered a privilege to eat the cheese crust at the bottom of the pot, called la religieuse (“the nun”) because it looks like the caps nuns wore in the Middle Ages.
  • If a man loses his bread in the fondue pot, he’s expected to buy a round of drinks.
  • A fondue pot is also perfect for making fondue au chocolat!
fondue pot with grapes and veggies

Tips for Hosting a Fondue Party

Cheese fondue is the ultimate social dish and the perfect opportunity to catch up with loved ones, laugh, and enjoy some cheesy goodness. This National Cheese Fondue Day, celebrate with your very own fondue party using these tips:

  • Buy a fondue pot and, of course, a set of fondue forks!
  • You can make fondue in the fondue pot or on the stove. But serve it in the fondue pot to keep it warm and melted.
  • Whip up a classic cheese fondue with a blend of Swiss cheeses like Gruyere, Emmentaler, and Appenzeller plus white wine, lemon juice, corn starch or flour, black pepper, and garlic.
  • Or make a more American version—like cheddar and beer fondue!
  • You can also keep it classic but swap out a Swiss cheese for your favorite American cheese such as Colby or Monterey Jack.
  • Besides day-old white bread cubes for dipping, offer guests fresh healthy options like baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, and sliced green apples.
  • Or make it a snack fest with tortilla chips, pita chips, and hard or soft pretzels.

Celebrating Delicious and Nutritious Cheese

National Cheese Fondue Day and other National Food Holidays are a great way for food brands to excite and delight consumers with fun food ideas. As one of the leading cheese manufacturers globally, Glanbia offers brands a variety of traditional and innovative cheeses for every occasion. From spicy cheeses to organic cheeses to protein and vitamin D cheeses, our products are sure to make your next cheese-inspired dish delicious!

Contact us to learn more!

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